The pandemic has decided the rhythm of our lives for almost two years now. Like a catalyst, it set changes in motion and fuelled those that were already underway. Working from home – something that the pandemic forced upon many – has changed our working world: while it was initially only intended as a stopgap solution, we‘ve now arrived at the so-called “new normal”: hybrid work, i.e. sometimes in the office, sometimes at home. For this to work smoothly, a concept that combines both workplaces is needed – and preferably one that’s sustainable.
Both working in the office and from home have their advantages and disadvantages. After almost two years of the pandemic, all those involved in hybrid work – employers and employees alike – are well aware of this. There is a huge effort underway to make both places of work functional and attractive. Sustainability has to be the benchmark in the design, because we need workplaces that are “fit for the future”.
The concept of sustainability means always keeping in mind
And the fewer resources consumed and the less CO2 emitted in the process, the more sustainable your consumption is.
The sources of energy that are directly consumed in the office and when working from home are electricity and heat. All home and office technology runs on electricity, including the systems for lighting, ventilation, air humidification, the securing of windows and doors and for sun protection, as well as computers, printers, scanners, shredders, telephones, large and small kitchen appliances. In addition, there are also systems for heating and/or cooling rooms and for heating water.
How much power and heat is consumed in the office depends on two factors:
1. the longevity and efficiency of the technology and
2. the usage behaviour of consumers.
But you can influence both factors: if you use long-lasting, energy-saving technology in the office in an energy-saving way, you can slash your electricity consumption by more than 70% and lower your electricity bills.1
You should also opt for sustainable sources of electricity and heat. Use renewable green electricity instead of conventional electricity generated by fossil fuels or nuclear energy; use renewable heat instead of heat generated from fossil fuels.
Besides consuming energy, offices also consume office supplies. These include paper and stationery (binders, files, file holders, desk pads, notepads, and envelopes), pens, printer inks and more.
The clear preference here is for durable, recycled and recyclable materials, such as unbleached recycled paper and recycled plastic. Printer cartridges can be refilled. Mineral oil free printing ink is often available. The consumption behaviour of people who work in offices has a significant impact on the consumption of office supplies.